Author(s): John Coffey
A crowd of 8,000 curious spectators came to see the first rugby league game played in Auckland at Victoria Park, 1908. Since then, league has become a major sport in New Zealand, and Auckland has been at the core of New Zealand's teams against the strongest international opposition. This book tells of the struggles and triumphs of Auckland teams and players over 100 years of rugby league. It traces successes and disappointments at international, districts, provincial and club levels and profiles the men who made and kept Auckland rugby league strong. Packed with over 300 photographs, in-depth stories of the games and major players and comprehensive statistics, the book is a rich history of a century of Auckland rugby league.
John Coffey is a long-time sports journalist and self confessed 'rugby league buff'. He worked for the Christchurch Press for 44 years after joining as a cadet reporter in 1963. He covered the first of more than 100 rugby league test matches at 17 and was the only New Zealand journalist on tour with the 1971 Grand Slam Kiwis in Britain and France. John has covered America's Cup yachting, international boxing and various sports at Commonwealth and New Zealand Games. Bernie Wood MNZM was on the Board of the Wellington Rugby League for twenty-four years, severing that link in 1992 to become Deputy Chair of the NZRL where he remained a director for ten years. For twenty years, he was rugby league correspondent for the Dominion and the Sunday Star-Times. From 1977 to 2002 he edited and published 25 NZRL Annuals. In 2008, Bernie received Life Membership of the NZRL.